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20                                            I'LOKA   INIHCA.
of naturalists who seek to bind nature by arbitrary laws. So
apraiu with regard to specific centres; except we are agreed
with an antlior as to whether the same speeies bus been created
in one or more localities, and at one or more times, -\ve shall
be at cross purposes \vheiI discussing points and prineiplrs re-
lating to identity of species and geographical distribution.
Great diHerences of opinion have from the* earliest days of
science always existed on <h<* nature of speeies. The preva-
lent opinion has undoubtedly at all times been, that a speeies
is a distinct creation, distinguishable from all others by cer-
tain permanent characters. Many eminent philosophers, how-
ever, have taken a contrary view,; of these the best known
have been Lamarck, and move recently the anonymous aulhiM
of the ' Vestige* of Creation/ Intp the arguments on either
Side it i&not now our intention to cater; indeed \ve could not
do so without occupying more* $puĞi and time than art* at
our disposal. A most ma$ft>rly \te\v of the present state of
the question will J)e found in Sir C. Lyell s * Principles of (Jco-
logy,7 where the argument* of Lamarck and others are stated
with great fairness, attd answered by the author, whose
Opinion is decided in favour of specie* being definite rrcn-
tronfr. In this we are disposed to n^'i'iv, having $Ğ*C" n<ğ ar-
jjument which is^uflici^nt to nltev tht* a /ifittt'i (xmelusitm to
v4iicli fact* appear to' point, that it is more prolmbU* that spe-
cies should have been created with a certain degree* of varia-
bility, than that mutability should bo n, part of the scheme of
nature. This however it* pre-eminently a "question for syste-
matists. Long and patient observation iix the field, and much
practice in sifting and examining the comparative value of
characters, can alone give the experience which will warrant
the expression of a decided opinion on a question of so much
It cannot be doubted that the general acceptance which the
doctrine of the mutability of specie*' has* met with amount
ffupcrticiul naturalists, haft originated in a tvactiou from earl
impressions of the absolute fixity of ckamcaci1*,    Tlw